Hike Heroes in the Making
After an overwhelming response to our North Downs Way Ambassadors training programme, we are so pleased to announce that this year’s ambassadors have been chosen and will be embarking on their walking guide journey with us very soon.
Due to the exceptionally high response, we are hoping to run this programme again next year. So, make sure you sign up with us to be first to hear about any news!
The programme consists of free training available for people in Kent and Surrey who love being outdoors, love walking, love their local area and want to share that passion with others.
With interest in the outdoors, walking for wellbeing and focus on supporting local seeing huge increases during the pandemic we’re delighted to re-launch our North Downs Way Ambassadors programme which combines all three! Led by walking and outdoor adventure company Pied-a-Terre, this will provide a springboard for keen walkers to share their passion for the outdoors and develop their trail knowledge to create a range of engaging, professional and safe guided tours for visitors.
Training will consist of 6 sessions starting in September. The course will cover multiple topics about the North Downs Way including nature, history, art, food and drink, family fun as well as practical sessions on insurance, risk assessment and walking tour business development. Lessons will be offered online and in person including trips out onto the trail itself to test and feedback on the skills and knowledge learnt before being assessed and finally let loose in Kent and Surrey as fully fledged Ambassadors.
We’re excited to have included guides from all different backgrounds and locations along the trail including minority groups, disabled trail enthusiasts and family guides who can attract new and diverse audiences and help remove some of the access barriers to the glorious British countryside.
Peter Morris, North Downs Way Trail Manager said “The North Downs Way has so much to offer with 153 miles of beautiful views, stunning historic castles, cathedrals, palaces and artworks plus delicious produce and most importantly local beer! We’re delighted to be setting up this programme with Richard to help more people discover it.”
Richard Betts from Pied-a-Terre Adventures said ‘This is a great opportunity for us and we’re excited to be working with the Kent Downs AONB and North Downs Way teams to deliver a programme of training that will ultimately encourage more people to explore the outdoors. By combining local expertise with route knowledge these tours can be really engaging offering visitors a chance to experience the local area in a totally different way - without the car! Hopefully they’ll get the walking bug just like we have.”
If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch or visit our website https://www.kentdowns.org.uk/experience/northdownswayambassadors/
For further information about the Kent Downs AONB, EXPERIENCE project or North Downs Way Ambassadors Programme please contact Marketing and Communications Officer Charlie.Lewis@kentdowns.org.uk or Communications Manager Kate.Hickey@kentdowns.org.uk.
About the North Downs Way National Trail
The North Downs Way is one of only 15 designated National Trails in England and Wales and has a diverse appeal for many unique reasons. Passing through 153 miles of stunning and diverse landscapes and through the protected landscapes of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Kent Downs AONB.
The route passes through many protected sites of specific scientific interest (SSSI) and is home to a number of rare species (notably orchids and butterflies) hard to find anywhere else in the UK.
For further information visit www.nationaltrail.co.uk/north-downs-way